6.26.2012

unselfish sewing

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hey there, handsome...

we just came back from a long weekend on the east coast where we attended a friends wedding in long island, ny.

but let's flash back to the sunday before our thursday flight, shall we?? there i am, contemplating what to wear - my birthday dress? my bombshell dress? do i try and make something new?? do i wear one of the few rtw dresses i own? hmm hmm hmmmmm. decisions decisions decisions. (i ended up with my ikat dress - packs well and is oh so accommodating to buffets...)

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i'm roused from my self-absorption for just long enough to realize that my husband is staring into the portents of his side of the closet (which curiously keeps getting smaller and smaller... weird...) with a furrowed brow. i ask him what he's going to wear. he responds that he's thinking of wearing a short sleeve collared shirt i made him last year (never blogged) with a tie. hmmm....

readers, i'm not a big fan of fashion rules, and i am definitely no expert in men's dressing, but i just wasn't convinced that a short sleeve shirt and a tie was appropriate for an evening wedding. turns out my husband wasn't totally convinced either.

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and that was how i convinced him to take me fabric shopping.

i realized it was high time i sent a little sewing love to my biggest supporter, and my all around favorite person. it didn't hurt that his birthday was last week either!

with truly record speed (if i do say so myself) i whipped out this modified long sleeve negroni. i bought the negroni pattern last year when i made a short sleeve shirt for nick's (my husband) birthday. i knew that the convertible camp collar style of the negroni wouldn't suit him for, but i felt like i needed the hand-holding that colette patterns is so good at.  so using peter's excellent tutorial i made the necessary changes to the negroni pattern to give it a button placket front, collar stand and regular collar.

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the fabric was some unmarked checked stuff that was wonderfully light weight, soft and mysteriously resistant to wrinkles. while pressing the seams i got a whiff of that tell-tale 70's basement smell that told my that there was some polyester lurking in those fibers. but my husband doesn't mind - and really, for a cotton/poly blend (my guess) its pretty darn breathable.

i'm not going to say that its the finest example of men's shirt sewing. there's some awkward turns and pivots and a curiously "off" cuff (but just the underside, so no one sees it). i also made one of those spectacularly idiotic blunders that only i can make when sewing to a deadline - after attaching the collar stand and collar and topstitching the whole thing to boot, i realized that i was sewing the shirt inside-out! at some point - perhaps when attaching the back yolk - i got myself all turned around and the plackets were on the inside of the shirt! head slap!! there was much unpicking of tiny stitches. and cursing. lots and lots of cursing.

but i do feel that next time i do it - without the pressure of a deadline - it will (hopefully) go smoother. and nick likes it. and thats what matters most.

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i love you, nick. happy birthday.

xx


20 comments:

  1. Oh look at this awesome shirt, I love it! The good thing about sewing with is that often the mistakes get lost in the pattern, which is what I tell myself every time and it might be true. Also, look how stylish he is with those bright pants. That's a great combination. 

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  2. Aww - lovely! I'm in love with your plackets - I've just bought fabric and a pattern for a button down shirt (for me though, not for my beau. I'm selfish like that) and plackets are freaking me out. Peter Lappin does some fabulous hand holding though - i'll have to check it out! The shirt looks lovely, and it's a win that your numero uno likes it too :) 

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  3. Wow, it looks great!! I made the short sleeve version because I was afraid of the plackets. I'll have to give it another try and hopefully it will turn out as nicely as yours :)

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  4. It looks great - love the fabric! I wouldn't dare sew a men's shirt like this to a deadline, I just know I'd mess it up under pressure and feel super guilty since it's for someone other than myself (which makes me feel like it has to be perfect). I have just bought a McCalls pattern to sew my boyfriend a short sleeved collared shirt (for the first time!)...I'm hoping it looks half as nice as what you've created. :)

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  5. awww :)  lovely shirt.  I bought the negroni pattern as a sort of selfish Christmas present for my hubby... and umm... well I still haven't even opened the pattern.  I will someday!

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  6. I think the idea of love needs to be redefined as the willingness to make a complicated garment for someone. Nothing says devotion like seem ripping, amiright ? (says the woman who just spent a day working on a skirt for a departing to Australia bff) Your hubbie looks so handsome in that shirt - you guys must of been cute-matchy in your blue ikat.

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  7. Handsome indeed - both the shirt AND the man! I love that you were able to redraft the pattern to make it a bit less casual - the results are fantastic!

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  8. Miss Crayola CreepyJune 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM

    I won't show my husband this post because he will be totally jealous! :)

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  9. It looks so good.  you totally fixed all of the things that I didn't love about the negroni.  it looks great on him.

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  10. Oh man, I've got to do this.  I've been promising J a shirt for aaaages.   I'm going to have to get going on it.  Everytime I bring it up he rolls his eyes.  He's so picky, though, I'm scared to do all the work if he won't wear it. This looks fantastic.  I like the changes you made.

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  11. Nice job! And thanks for the link to "de-campifying" the collar. I've made the Negroni once, but I think the stand collar will give the pattern new life! 

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  12. Wow, this looks amazing!  The gingham is the perfect color and scale!  I've had this on my list for ages, but I'm a little intimidated by all the details!  I really need to make it, though... I feel like such a jerk for letting my sewing take over the living room, but not making anything for the man!  

    Also.  I'm sad that you guys were SO CLOSE to me, but we couldn't hang out.  Promise me we'll get to meet up sometime!

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  13. Um, yeah, my husband is completely handmade-shirt-free at the moment.  It can be so easy to get totally absorbed by all the projects I want to make for myself, thanks for the reminder that my sewing time doesn't have to be self-absorbed time.

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  14. What a great partner you are! I hope Kelley doesn't see this because I've been promising him shirts for a year now and haven't even come close to producing one. The shirt looks great and I can't believe you finished it in that time frame. I'll have to keep this collar in mind when I finally do get around to making the Negroni.

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  15. Looking dapper there Sir Nick!  I love the shirt with the red pants... and Heather Lou rightly mentioned how nice you must have looked together (not that you don't always look awesome together!) with your blue ikat dress and his blue gingham... any couple photos to make us all jealous?  I can't get over how RTW this looks.  The stitching , the collar and buttons... it's all so wonderful.

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  16. Lucky boy! Short looks wonderful, I think it looks very professionally made!

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  17. Too fun! I love men's shirts, and strangely love those last-minute gotta finish it sort of creative projects. Still have yet to make D a shirt, but he has been begging me... Hope you have a lovely time... 

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  18. I used to make my husband's dress shirts back when we were young newlyweds and there were still great fabric stores around.  I loved the challenge and the learning process.  You did a great job.  Thanks for bringing back those memories!

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  19. Hotness, Sallie, shirt and man :) The changes you made are the exact changes I'd like to make to Ryan's Negroni. He's more of a standing collar, button placket guy as well. (Same birthday? June 20?)

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